Chip potato markets are quiet ahead of the Thanksgiving holiday. Buyers are confident that growers have plenty of potatoes to fill contracts, in spite of Michigan’s late-season loss. Dealers are complaining that movement is slow. While weak demand may explain some of the slowdown, recovery rates are much stronger this year than they were for the 2016 crop, due to high solids.
US fresh potato shipments for the week ending November 18, 2017 totaled 2.478 million cwt. That is down from 2.512 million cwt shipped cwt during the same period, in 2016. Michigan packers shipped 104,920 cwt of fresh potatoes during the week ending November 18. That is up from 59,400 cwt a year earlier. Last week’s Michigan shipments were 88.5% Russet potatoes, 5.5% Yellow potatoes, 4.8% Round White varieties, 0.8% Reds, and 0.5% fingerlings. Strong bulk Russet shipments during the past two weeks appear to be fill-in product for loads from other areas that couldn’t be shipped, due to truck shortages. They may help Michigan’s Russet potato supplies clean up earlier than usual, this year.
Michigan packers are selling 10# bags of Size A Russet potatoes for $1.60-$1.80 per bag, unchanged from last week. Wisconsin packers are selling 5/10# Russet potatoes for mostly $7.00-$7.50 per 50# bale, unchanged from last week at this time. Wisconsin 50-70 count cartons are selling for mostly $12.00-$13.00 per box, also unchanged for the week. The weighted average price for Idaho Norkotahs is $16.90 per cwt, up from $16.76 per cwt a week ago.
Michigan packers are selling 10/5# bags of Round White potatoes for $9.00-$11.00 per 50# bale, unchanged for the week. Long Island packers are selling Size A Round White potatoes for $8.00-$8.25 per 50# sack, unchanged for the week. They are selling Chefs for $9.00-$9.50 per 50# sack, also unchanged. Maine shippers are selling 5/10# bags of 2” min Round White potatoes for $9.00-$9.50 per 50# bale, unchanged from last week at this time.